Center News

Veggies help reduce prostate-cancer risk

Broccoli and other vegetables linked with decreased risk of aggressive prostate cancer

July 30, 2007
Dr. Ulrike Peters

The Cancer Prevention Program's Dr. Ulrike Peters co-authored a study that linked consumption of dark green and cruciferous vegetables — especially broccoli and cauliflower — with a decreased risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

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Dr. Ulrike Peters, of the Public Health Sciences Division, co-authored a paper to be published in the Aug. 1 Journal of the National Cancer Institute that links the consumption of cruciferous vegetables with a reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Peters, a researcher in the Cancer Prevention Program, and colleagues evaluated the possible association among 29,361 men, of which 1,338 were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Each of the men completed a 137-item food-frequency questionnaire.

They found that eating fruits and vegetables was not associated with decreased prostate cancer risk in general. But greater consumption of dark green and cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli and cauliflower, was associated with a decreased risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Several studies have demonstrated an association between eating vegetables and a reduced risk of prostate cancer, but study results have not been consistent and many have not investigated the association among patients with aggressive prostate cancer.

"Aggressive prostate cancer is associated with poor prognosis. Therefore, if our finding can be replicated in other studies, the burden of this disease may be reduced through increased consumption of broccoli, cauliflower and possibly spinach," Peters said.

The study was led by the National Cancer Institute.

[Article adapted from information from the National Cancer Institute]

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.